Kenosha police officer explains why he didn't arrest Kyle Rittenhouse when he tried to surrender after the shootings
- A viral video showed
Kyle Rittenhousetrying to surrender to police officers, who ignored him.
- One of those officers testified Friday he heard gunfire and assumed an active shooter was still on the loose.
Officer Pep Moretti testified on the fourth day of Rittenhouse's homicide
Last fall, a viral video showed Rittenhouse walking up to the officers as they yelled at him to get out of the way and drove off in the immediate aftermath of the shootings. Critics of police flaunted the video as proof that white suspects like Rittenhouse can get away with homicide, while black suspects are handled more roughly in less serious situations.
But Moretti disputed that narrative on Friday. Moretti told the court there were several reasons why he and his partner hadn't suspected that Rittenhouse was the shooter - namely, they could still hear active gunfire as Rittenhouse approached.
"There was still gunfire erupting around us while we were still out on Sheridan, so we still thought there was an active threat," Moretti said. He testified that he and his partner's goal had been to identify the source of the gunfire.
Moretti also said the presence of Rittenhouse's AR-15 rifle also hadn't been cause for alarm, given the context of the evening. The majority of people Moretti encountered that night were also armed, he said, whether it was with rifles, handguns, bats, or other objects.
"We were surrounded all night, all week," Moretti said. "There was probably more people armed with weapons than not."
Moretti also said Rittenhouse hadn't displayed the usual signs of surrender. Moretti said typically people who are surrendering will drop to their knees and follow commands. But Rittenhouse ignored their commands and continued approaching their vehicle, Moretti said.
"We were giving him instructions to get out of the roadway and essentially get out of our way so we could get to where we believed the problem to be," Moretti said.
The officer also shut down the notion that he and his fellow officer had treated Rittenhouse gently when the teenager disobeyed commands.
Moretti testified that when Rittenhouse approached the passenger-side window of the patrol vehicle, Moretti drew his gun on Rittenhouse and Moretti's partner in the passenger seat pepper-sprayed Rittenhouse.
He said he didn't know if the spray actually struck Rittenhouse, but it "had the desired effect," as Rittenhouse abandoned the vehicle and continued walking northbound.
- A 29-year-old woman found a mark on her head and was diagnosed with a fungal infection. It turned out to be invasive skin cancer.
- Elon Musk told his 76-year-old dad Errol to 'keep quiet' in a text message after he said he wasn't proud of his son, report says
- JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon told wealthy clients there's a chance the US is heading into 'something worse' than a recession, report says
- Nepotism and termite-like corruption dented India : Modi
- Modi lists five pledges to turn India into a developed country in 25 years
- There will be a major shift in the way Indians shop and consume brands
- Modi remembers Nehru and Sarvarkar in his speech today
- Made-in-India gun used for 1st time for ceremonial salute at Red Fort on Independence Day